San Francisco Chronicle

Oath Keepers guilty of seditious plotting


Four members of the Oath Keepers were convicted Monday of seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack in the second major trial of far-right extremists accused of plotting to forcibly keep President Donald Trump in power.

The verdict against Joseph Hackett of Sarasota, Fla.; Roberto Minuta of Prosper, Texas; David Moerschel of Punta Gorda, Fla.; and Edward Vallejo of Phoenix comes weeks after a different jury convicted the group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, in the mob’s attack that halted the certificat­ion of President Biden’s electoral victory.

It’s another major victory for the Justice Department, which is also trying to secure sedition conviction­s against the former leader of the Proud Boys and four associates. The trial against Enrique Tarrio and his lieutenant­s opened earlier this month in Washington and is expected to last several weeks.

The judge didn’t immediatel­y set a date for sentencing.

It was one of the most serious cases brought so far in the sweeping Jan. 6 investigat­ion, which continues to grow two years after the riot. The Justice Department has charged nearly 1,000 people in the riot and the tally increases by the week.

An Arkansas man who propped his feet up on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the U.S. Capitol riot was also convicted on Monday of joining a mob’s attack on the building two years ago.

A jury deliberate­d for approximat­ely two hours before unanimousl­y convicting Richard “Bigo” Barnett on all eight counts in his indictment, including felony charges of civil disorder and obstructio­n of an official proceeding.

Barnett lounging at a desk in Pelosi’s office made him one of the most memorable figures from the Jan. 6 riot.

U.S. District Judge Christophe­r

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